Archives—April 2017

Water Drones for Rescuing Swimmers

SENSEThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on a two-day conference on new life-saving technologies for the Great Lakes. One of the demonstrations was by Michigan Tech, where the SENSE Enterprise team and Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) are developing drones to help save people who are drowning. Read the story here.

The story was also picked up by the Detroit Free Press and the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

With Great Lakes drownings spiking, rescuers look to education, technology

Michigan Tech students are working on a drone that can be used as a life raft, cheap and affordable enough that they can be kept at popular swimming beaches or in squad car trunks and used very quickly.

“It’s like a mechanized life ring,” said Andrew Barnard, leader of the SENSE Enterprise Team at Michigan Tech. “If you’ve got someone 100 yards offshore, it takes away the danger of swimming out to them or the time it takes to get a boat. A life ring can only be thrown maybe 25 yards and if it’s windy it’s hard to get the life ring to the person.”

The Michigan Tech water drone prototype, which students dubbed Nautical Emergency Rescue Drone (NERD), uses plastic PVC piping, low-cost remote vehicle propellers and the same controls used for remote-controlled planes and boats.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, by Meg Jones.

2017 Ford College Community Challenge Top 20 – Michigan Technological University (SENSE Enterprise)

Michigan Tech students’ work with Strategic Education through Naval Systems Experiences Enterprise is underway benchmarking existing rescue methods, technologies to define a cost effective system; testing concept stages and initial prototype.

Read more and watch the video at Ford Blue Oval Network.



Three Short Courses in Vehicle Dynamics and Diesel Engines to be Offered Summer 2017

APS Lab

Back by popular demand, three short courses will be offered this summer.

The courses are “Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics,” “Fundamentals of Diesel Engines” and “Diesel Engine Control Systems.”

Courses include extensive laboratory components with a format that mixes traditional lecture and group discussion with hands-on experiments conducted in powertrain test-cells and through driving vehicles on the road. The courses will be available to all Michigan Tech graduate students and undergraduate seniors. Each course is one credit with a lab fee of $265. Course descriptions are included below.

Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics: MEEM 5990 Section 50 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Measure and understand vehicle size and CG (X-Y-Z), Determine optimum suspension setup for handling and performance. Model and measure real world vehicle acceleration for correlation and prediction of vehicle performance. See the effects of vehicle design on understeer and oversteer during limit handling.

Fundamentals of Diesel Engines: MEEM 5202 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; fundamentals of operation, performance metrics, thermochemistry, combustion, fuel injection and spray, air systems and turbocharging, EGR, energy balance, heat transfer, diesel engine simulation and advanced concepts and trends in diesel engines.

Diesel Engine Control Systems: MEEM 5204 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; review diesel operation, regulations, intro to engine control, diesel engine actuators, load control, Start of Injection, Rail Pressure, Turbo Control, EGR and Engine Out Emissions, aftertreatment, algorithm and calibration, OBD and controller communications.

These courses are a great option for anyone looking to increase their understanding of vehicle systems or engines, or for students needing additional credits.

All courses will be delivered from the Michigan Tech Advanced Power Systems Research Center located near the Houghton County Airport. The courses will be two-and-a-half days in duration, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 5 p.m. Friday of that same week. Transportation to and from campus may be provided each day. Lunch will be provided on Thursday and Friday.

Registration is now open through banweb:

  • Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics — 6/14/17-6/16/17 CRN 52391
  • Fundamentals of Diesel Engines — 7/12/17 through 7/14/17 CRN 52378
  • Diesel Engine Control Systems — 8/02/17 through 8/04/17 CRN 52379

Students are welcome to register for any or all three. There are no pre-requisites, but familiarity with vehicle dynamics, thermodynamics and/or IC engine cycles will be helpful.

Contact Chris Morgan for further details.


HIRoLab Featured in National Biomechanics Day Outreach

HIRoLab Circular Treadmill
HIRoLab Circular Treadmill

National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6, 2017), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.

Read more at Tech Today, by Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.